MORAY’S POLITICAL LEADERS have been welcoming an announcement by NHS Grampian that the Paediatric unit at Dr Gray’s Hospital will fully reopen next week.
The Health authority announced that two doctors had been recruited to man the unit which had been temporarily restricted to daytime operation in recent weeks.
Both Richard Lochhead MSP an Douglas Ross MP had been in talks with NHS Grampian seeking an early resolution to the situation, accepting that recruitment to Moray had proven difficult for some time and seeking to assist in any way they could.
Following the NHS Grampian announcement Mr Lochhead, who had called for a ‘Workforce Task Force’ to be established allowing local agencies to work together on recruitment issues, said the situation was still fragile.
He commented: “I welcome the efforts that have gone into recruiting these two addition doctors that means a round the clock inpatient service will once again be delivered in the Children’s Ward at Dr Gray’s. I know that this news will be welcomed by the community who highly value the excellent they care delivered at Dr Gray’s.
“Clearly, however, the situation is still fragile with the health board having had longstanding difficulties in recruiting staff to work in our local hospital and I’m continuing to work with public agencies to pursue medium and long-term solutions to these recruitment challenges which are not going away fast.”
Douglas Ross said: “I understand that the paediatric ward will be restoring its overnight service and 24 hour operation at the children’s ward which was previously suspended due to a shortage in doctors.
“This is good news and I am extremely pleased the hospital has been able to recruit two new doctors to enable 24-hour care to be resumed for sick children in Moray. It was unacceptable that children requiring overnight care had to travel to Aberdeen and I am glad this has been reversed.
“I would like to thank staff for their efforts in recent weeks in what has been a very difficult situation ensuring this valuable service can be restored, but it is clear more work must be done so we don’t end up in this situation again.
“I will make sure that this issue remains at the top of the agenda going forward, particularly with regards to any future threat to services and it’s important that staff and the public are also kept informed.
“All partners must work together to provide a long term solution to the problems at Dr Grays. It is a valuable and much needed facility for the whole area which must not continually be put under threat because of a problem in attracting staff to work in Moray.”